Rainforest in the clouds

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Silence always seems to presage doom in the forest. In a mist, when clouds descend on the rainforest and the bellbirds cease their chiming, the quiet eerily portends fate befalling. The ringing call of these tiny, rarely seen birds, echoes though the tall timbers, the coachwoods, cedars and blue gums, swamp mahoganies and stringybarks. Over the lichens, around the orchids, through the bracken and tree ferns, the sound of bellbirds somehow seems assuring. It is their absence I notice, feel and am alert too.

I am wary of visiting our temperate rainforests when it is hot or windy; I prefer the cool overcast days, when the air is not moving or the leaves rustling. The light is muted, the pungent smell of moist earth mixed with decay fills the air, and multitudinous shades of green are revealed in the variety of shapes, forms and species of plants.

Beneath the escarpmentā€¦

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